Be Seen

As daylight gets shorter it’s more important that your car can be seen so all its lights must work properly. Checking takes two people and some distance. Stand back from the car about fifty feet while a helper operates the lights. The distance is so you can see differences in brightness that isn’t visible up close. If one light is less bright than its companion check the bulb to make sure it’s the proper type. Many bulbs will physically interchange but the watts of light they produce is different.

This means it’s necessary to check both the brighter and the dimmer light as one may be too bright or the other too dim. Brighter would seem to be good because it makes the car more visible but brighter usually means more electricity has to flow through the bulb and wiring. The extra electrical flow creates more heat leading to burned wires — – melted bulb sockets and sometimes even melted lamps.

Too dim can mean a wrong bulb — – bad bulb socket or ground connection. Inspect ground wires for corrosion where they attach to the car’s body. Also that nasty looking grease on the base of most bulbs is there for a reason so don’t wipe it away. Instead renew it when installing new bulbs. The grease keeps moisture out and it helps hold the bulb firmly against the electrical contacts in the base of the socket. Take the grease away and wind up with corroded sockets and flickering light.

We’ll be right back.

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